Kirk L. Kroeker "Technology, too, obeys the law of responding, of answering a call at whose origin we are encountering so much static." -- Avital Ronell

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Improving Brain-Computer Interfaces

By Kirk L. Kroeker

Researchers are demonstrating advances in restorative brain-computer interface systems that are giving paralyzed individuals more effective ways to communicate, move, and interact with their environment.

Speculative fiction has long entertained the idea of humans interfacing with machines at the level of thought, resulting in enhancement technologies that not only sidestep the limitations associated with the fragile human body, but also supplement the brainís own shortcomings in processing information or accessing data. While fictional renderings of human-machine interfaces typically take the form of supplementary enhancements for healthy individuals, scientists doing research in brain-computer interface (BCI) technologies have been developing innovative restorative strategies for those who have lost basic functions, such as sight, hearing, and movement.

(This article appeared in CACM, vol. 54, no. 10, October 2011, pp. 11-14.)

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Improving Brain-Computer Interfaces


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